Author: Kezstar24

Chapter Ninety-Six: The Butchers Paper

It was time for the Butchers Paper.
“Come ON Belle, we left butchers paper behind in high school!” Charlie groaned as Belle lay some sheets on the table, a red marker in her mouth.
“I love butchers paper.” Sammy already had a marker in his hand.
“You're a teacher!” Charlie pointed out.
“We use it at work for brainstorming.” TJ said, reaching out for a marker.
Charlie grumbed and picked up a blue marker.
“Ow we're gubba geed do erk totether.” Belle said as she laid out the last piece of paper.
“Marker still in mouth Belle-Belle.” Sunny pointed out.
Belle removed the marker from her mouth. “We're gonna need to work together on this if we're going to fix things around here.” She started.
“Guys, no offence, but fixing Pleasantville isn't going to happen overnight.” Daniel pointed out.
“We KNOW that. We all remember the protest.” Charlie said bitterly.
“Which is why we're going to start diverting some of the council money that has previously been used to prop up crime to create programs that move children in the direction we want them to go.” Belle said.
“Which is away from crime.” Charlie added. “We're also going to get the local police investigated.”
“I just want you guys to be careful.” Daniel said, marker in hand. “It's not just the Mob, the Gang, the Crusaders, the Troupe and the Mayor you're up against.”
“Yeah! There's a lot of small-time guys who work alone that you guys don't see.” Sammy piped up.
“And those small-timers might be tempted to join the big fish if we go too hard too fast.” Belle sighed. “Argh!”
“Relax buddy. Things will work out.” Charlie patted his best friend on the back.
“Charlie, we have limited time. There's a million legal loopholes to get through. We could be ousted any second from…you know what, never mind, you're clearly getting ready to use the Improbability Clause again so why do you need me?” Belle began to sulk.
Everyone laughed, and the planning started.
“You guys are so much more in touch with Pleasantville than we are.” Charlie noted as they filled up the butchers paper.
“Well, you have to remember that for a long time we came from those lower reaches.” Petunia pointed out. “We're just lucky we came from families that were starting to break away.”
“Except poor Dan.” TJ snickered.
“What's up with Dan's family?” Belle asked.
Everyone looked shocked.
“I thought I told you guys!” Daniel groaned.
“Told us what?” Sunny asked.
“My Dad was Laker Barrett. My Mum was his second-in-command.” Daniel told them.
“Kinda explains how they got killed in the Battle of Silent Lake.” Charlie said.
“Yeah. His grandparents are in two minds about Dan leading the Knights of the Last Order.” Tammy grinned.
“On one hand they LOVE that he's sticking it to the Mob and the Death Valley Gangsters, but on the other hand they really wanted the Silent Lake Gang to live on through him.” Sammy chuckled.
“Wow. That was a big reveal.” Belle blinked. “Good on you for going against the flow though Dan!”
“That's why he's our leader.” TJ grinned.
“More like because he's the oldest and always had the most pocket money.” Petunia replied slyly.
“Whatever! You have to admit, he has a good pedigree for leadership.” TJ poked her back.
“Actually, the Silent Lake Gang always had poor leadership.” Belle began.
“Wow. Just run down someone's family history right in front of them. Rude!” Charlie groaned.
You can imagine how much permanent marker actually got on the butchers paper after that!
“Greetings Miss Masters.” Demon walked past Belles desk.
“Hello Mr. Jones.” Belle replied.
“I'm sure you're very thrilled about your friends Chuckles and Giggles having full control of the city.” Demon said.
“I'm looking forward to some fresh air and new ideas, but I don't think they'll make too much of a difference to my day-to-day work. The real risk was always the…government.” Belle tried to keep herself from giggling.
Demon raised an eyebrow.
“Ahem. Anyway, I'll just continue to do my good work.” Belle quickly calmed down.
Demon shook his head and walked away. Peter walked over to his daughter, looking irate.
“Very professional there Beauty.” He readied himself to lecture.
“I know…but give me a break, I'm in a good mood.” Belle grinned.
“Except one huge flaw in your plan.” Peter hissed. “What is everyone going to think when they don't see you and Giggles in the same room together?”
Suddenly Giggles flew in through a window and headed straight for Demons office!
“It's not the first time Sunny has filled in for me.” Belle shrugged.
“Do I even WANT to know what other plans you've got in mind?” Peter groaned.
The sound of the Desert Eagle going off in Demons office made them jump.
“Less violence for one.” Belle blinked.

Chapter Ninety-Five: Be Careful What You Wish For

The golf course sat about halfway between Pleasantville and Fallsville. It was a particularly hilly course, one that made Demon rather frustrated at times.
Not as frustrated as Giggles was at that particular moment, but close enough.
“Couldn't we have waited until tomorrow?” Chuckles gasped out as Giggles dragged him by the collar towards hole 8. “Demon would have been in his office then!”
“You wanted to do this, so we're doing this!” Giggles barked.
“This was a bad idea.” Chuckles whimpered.
“Too late now, MOVE IT!” Giggles hauled him in front of her and started pushing him.
Meanwhile, Demon was preparing to putt his way to a nice eagle. The wind was blowing gently across the green, and there was a gentle slope between him and the hole. He readied his putter, got himself into position, and gently eased the ball towards the hole.
It went right past it.
“Wow, a bad Mayor and a bad golfer.”
Demon tensed up. That was the voice of Chuckles, which meant Giggles was also here.
“I wouldn't be too stressed, I want to kill him too.” Giggles said, glaring at Chuckles.
“Hey, this part of the plan was YOUR idea.” Chuckles defended himself.
Demon sucked in a deep breath. He held it for five, then let it go in a long, slow hiss.
“How can I help you today citizens?” Demon asked politely.
“Wow, pretty calm for someone who's getting close to par.” Chuckles said.
“Will you shut up for once and let someone intelligent talk?!” Giggles fumed.
“Sorry!” Chuckles shut up.
Giggles felt a little bad for ripping her best friend a new one, but she continued on. “We're here to collect the bounty.”
Demon looked confused.
“You said that whomever brought you the Lucky Seven and the Lions Claw would help you rule Pleasantville.” Giggles was trying to keep her exasperation and irritation under control.
“I meant for you two to be dead.” Demon pointed out.
“You didn't expect us to outsmart you.” Chuckles grinned.
“You seriously think this is outsmarting me?” Demon chuckled. “I think you're both in for a very rude shock.”
Chuckles pulled out the Lions Claw Blade and Giggles pulled out the Lucky Seven Gun, expecting to be attacked.
“The office is completely open to you.” Demon continued. “Feel free to make a few laws if you like, as long as you run them by me. After all, I need to sign them for them to be valid.”
Giggles was shaking, and she felt her eye twitching.
“I knew you'd see it our way.” Chuckles bragged.
“Naturally. I'm sure I'll see you around.” Demon said with a greasy smile. He walked over to his ball, and with a light tap of the putter, sent it down hole 8.
“We're leaving Chuckles.” Giggles said.
“Catch ya later!” Chuckles waved as Giggles flew the both of them away back to the tip.
“You remember the protest, right?” Giggles asked as they soared over the countryside back to Pleasantville.
“How could I forget it?” Chuckles shuddered.
“Don't DO that while I'm flying!” Giggles scolded. “I'm just worried this is the exact same thing.”
“How can it be? We're in charge!” Chuckles laughed.
“I guess so.” Giggles couldn't help but smile.
Until the Backpack cut out yet again, sending our heroes into a pile of manure.
“You're LETTING CHUCKLES AND GIGGLES RULE PLEASANTVILLE?!” Mobster Marion screeched in fury.
“Calm down Marion.” Master Revolver tried to get her to sit down.
“I WILL NOT CALM DOWN!” Marion slapped him, hard.
They were in Demons office, and had just discovered that the Mayor had handed the keys to the city over to the two heroes who made their lives difficult.
“Marion, sit DOWN.” Revolver grabbed the Mobster and pulled her into a seat. She fumed as he then turned to address Demon. “You have to admit this looks bad. Everything we've set to achieve could be undone because you want to keep to your word.”
“Don't be silly my dear man. Have a chocolate liqueur.” Demon offered Revolver a tray of delicious chocolates.
“You're offering me a chocolate. Are you out of your mind?” Revolver asked, doing his best to remain calm.
“Of course. I'm civilized after all.” Demon smiled.
“Of course you are. That's what's gotten us into this mess.” Revolver grumbled.
Demon chuckled.
“Oh my dear man.” He grinned. “Haven't you heard the saying that you should be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it?”
Revolver stiffened, and took a chocolate.
“Oh dear Chuckles and Giggles.” Demon turned to look out of the window. “You should have been very, VERY careful before you made your wish!”

Chapter Ninety-Four: Storming the Office

“So the Haunted Maze Troupe has designs on ruling after all.” Chuckles flexed his Arm Scythes.
The Haunted Maze Troupers said nothing.
Giggles looked at Chuckles, who shrugged.
The Haunted Maze Troupers still said nothing.
“Whatever, we wasted enough time with OH THAT WAS A KNIFE!” Giggles jumped out of the way of a knife that was thrown at her by one of the Troupers. Chuckles immediately went in to defend her, disarming the Troupers with one sweep of his Arm Scythes.
The Troupers stood stock still for a minute, before leaving the building.
“I don't get them at all! What on earth is their issue?!” Giggles groaned as Chuckles watched them leave, dumbfounded.
“Honestly, I've given up thinking about it, it's not worth it.” Chuckles walked back to her.
“Anyone would think their whole point of existence was just to be annoying!” Giggles continued as they headed into the main building.
“Well, you'd know all about that.” Chuckles said slyly.
Giggles didn't see fit to dignify that with a comment.
They walked through the lobby and into the main office where Peter Masters was busy finalising a case file. He looked up, saw his daughter and her best friend, sat his case file back down, picked up his briefcase and hat and left the office.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence!” Giggles yelled after him. “Parents.” She muttered under her breath.
Just then, Master Revolver walked out of Demons office. “What are YOU two doing here?!” He exclaimed.
Chuckles grinned and got up on a table. Giggles groaned loudly.
“We are here,” Chuckles began. “We are here because our dear lord Mayor has decreed that whomever should bring him the Lions Claw Blade and the Lucky Seven Gun (which we have in our possession) would rule Pleasantville alongside him!”
“And Chuckles decided we should be the ones to present him with the aforementioned weapons and collect the bounty.” Giggles deadpanned.
Master Revolver blinked. Then he started laughing.
Everyone at their desks looked bewildered. Chuckles did his best to hold his stare-down at the laughing Revolver and Giggles once again thought about her life insurance.
“You're serious?” Revolver stopped laughing. “You're actually serious?”
“Do we LOOK like we're joking?” Chuckles folded his arms.
“And I thought Marions mental health was taking a nosedive.” Revolver shook his head, trying not to laugh again. “Do you REALISE how dangerous this is? I mean, not only do you have the Crusaders and the Troupe on your tail, but this place is swarming, SWARMING with Mobsters and Gangsters. Even if you get past us, do you REALLY think Demon is going to want YOU TWO to run this city? You go against everything he stands for!”
“We'll never know if we never try!” Chuckles grinned.
“I'm gonna die here.” Giggles lamented.
Revolve pulled out his phone and punched a few buttons. Suddenly about half the room got up out of their desks, each with some sort of weapon.
“GLENDA is a MOBSTER?!” Giggles gasped. Not Glenda! Glenda made THE best spongecake in the world! Glenda couldn't be a MOBSTER!
The Mobsters opened fire as Chuckles and Giggles jumped behind the big counter at the front of the room.
“Awesome work Chuckles. Awesome work. Now we're trapped here until they run out of ammo, after which they'll come here and skewer us. We're vastly outnumbered, outmatched and dear glob no not the Improbability Clause again!” Giggles groaned as Chuckles began to formulate a plan.
“We just need to even up the numbers a bit.” Chuckles mused. He looked at the ceiling.
“That chandelier is far too small.” Giggles told him.
“There's about ten of them.” Chuckles pointed out.
Giggles sighed. She actually LIKED those chandeliers. She fired at one with the Desert Eagle, and the chandelier crashed to the ground.
The room audibly gasped a collective gasp.
“That chandelier was beautiful!” Someone began to sob.
“That was the only nice thing we actually had in this office!” Someone else sounded devastated.
“How can I make my spongecake now knowing there's one less chandelier in the office?” Glenda lamented.
“Glenda NO!” Giggles groaned.
“A chandelier? You guys are seriously that messed up about a CHANDELIER?” Chuckles was gobsmacked.
“Buddy, look at this office. There is NOTHING here that brings even the slightest bit of happiness.” One man sighed.
“What sort of soul-sucking monsters do we even have running this city?” Chuckles wondered out aloud.
“It's DEMON, what do you expect?” Giggles pointed out.
“That's a fair point.” Chuckles rubbed his chin.
“I mean, it's not completely broken, maybe we could fix it?” Someone tried to inspect the fallen ruin.
Giggles rolled her eyes, before walking past the desks to Demons office. Chuckles followed her, looking bewildered.
Giggles gently eased the door open with her foot, before kicking it open and pointing the Desert Eagle at the empty desk.
“He's behind me isn't he?” Giggles asked.
“Noooo, but it'd be a smart move on his part.” Chuckles still stood outside the door.
“He's not in today.” Master Revolver pointed out. “Today is his golf day.”
Giggles growled. Only Chuckles standing between her and the door stopped her from going back out and shooting the rest of the chandeliers down!

Chapter Ninety-Three: Chuckles Great Idea

“I can't believe I'm doing this.” Giggles groaned as she and Chuckles walked up to City Hall.
“It'll be fun!” Chuckles replied.
“It's idiotic!”
“It's fine!”
“We're going to get into HUGE trouble.”
“We're going to causehuge trouble.”
I hate you.”
You're my sunshine too.”
Giggles groaned as they approached the front steps. Sure enough, trouble was waiting.
You're seriously just going to walk up to City Hall when the whole city knows there's a bounty out on you?!” Crusader Roger laughed. He was sitting on the steps of City Hall, and looked almost gleeful at the opportunity in front of him.
You call it a bounty, we call it an opportunity.” Chuckles grinned, unsheathing the Lions Claw Blade.
YOU call it an opportunity, I call it I just came along to keep you from getting killed.” Giggles said.
Someone else I know also calls it an opportunity.” Crusader Roger smirked. “He doesn't really like you at all.”
That narrows it down.” Giggles rolled her eyes.
We kinda like to annoy people.” Chuckles admitted.
Obviously.” Giggles snapped.
And we're good at it too!” Chuckles grinned.
Enough with the talk, it's time for some payback!”
Both Chuckles and Giggles dodged out of the way as Daryl “Ruby” Jones jumped out of some bushes and attacked with a brand-new hand-scythe.
Crusader Daryl? Still amazes me how low some people will go with their recruiting.” Giggles mused.
That's the Ruby Crusader to you!” Daryl snarled.
Chuckles and Giggles looked at each other.
Not gonna happen.”
You're Crusader Daryl.”
I mean, you can't be Ruby anymore, you don't have the Ruby Suit anymore.”
Do you need a hug?” Giggles asked.
GET OUT OF MY LIFE!” Daryl swung at her, missing by miles.
This really isn't much of a threat.” Chuckles raised his eyebrows. He then felt a gun to his back. “That is, on the other hand.”
Didn't I tell you that this was a bad idea. Didn't I tell you?” Giggles scolded as Crusader Roger forced Chuckles towards the entrance of City Hall. “I mean, you've been shot before, surely you would have learned by now to be more careful!”
It's fine, we were going inside anyway!” Chuckles grinned as they headed inside the building.
At the end of a gun?” Giggles quipped drily.
Daryl grimaced behind their backs. Chuckles and Giggles were HIS prey! HE was supposed to take them in to his father, to get his spot in the family back. Giggles noticed this.
You okay there Daryl? Looking like a dog who lost his bone.” She said.
Young Mister Daryl here is learning how to behave himself.” Crusader Roger smiled. “Isn't that right?”
Yes sir.” Daryl grumbled.
What was that?” Roger turned around to look at his underling. Chuckles took the chance and knocked the gun across the City Hall lobby.
Daryl attacked Giggles, who flew above him. He tried to grab at her while Roger and Chuckles fought, Chuckles with the Arm Scythes and Roger with his dagger.
You're pretty good, even without the Dragon Scale.” Chuckles complimented his foe.
If you were smart, you'd be using the Lions Claw.” Roger growled as he was forced back towards Daryl, who was still jumping and trying to grab Giggles.
I have plans for that.” Chuckles said as he clasped his hands together, using the Arm Scythes to grab Rogers dagger and force him back-to-back with Daryl, who was panting.
And wouldn't you know it, Giggles Backpack cut out. She dropped heavily on Roger and Daryl, knocking both men down.
YAY!” Chuckles cheered as Giggles got up and dusted herself off.
Give me one reason, ONE reason, why I shouldn't tell your mother HALF of what you get up to!” Giggles fumed.
Hey, that's below the belt!” Chuckles raised his hands to defend himself.
You're being an idiot!”
I'm being creative!”
The two friends then noticed they were being watched. Three Haunted Maze Troupers were staring blankly at them.
Why is the Haunted Maze Troupe here?” Chuckles asked.
Because you'd have to be on drugs to work here sometimes.” Giggles quipped drily, pulling out the Desert Eagle.

Chapter Ninety-Two: Delicious

“Oi, Jacobs.”
TJ was sat at his desk at work, when suddenly he was surrounded by Officer Wallace Dingbat and three officers.
“How can I help, boss?” TJ asked.
“Well Jacobs, I think you can be very, very helpful indeed.” Dingbat sat on the edge of the desk, making it groan ominously. “You see, a little birdie tells me that you might know a thing or two about the Knights of the Last Order.
TJ did his best to look surprised. Inside, he was seething. He knew this was probably payback from Richard Dickson.
“Don't give me that look Jacobs. You're the one who gave them to Dickson.” Dingbat sneered. TJ groaned inwardly. Damn! “Mayor Jones is giving us a lot of heat to get the Knights under control. If you know where they are, and you're holding out on us, then we have a little bit of a problem.”
TJ stood up. “Sir, if I really knew anything about the Knights, don't you think I would be the first to talk? I have a reputation to uphold.”
“Oooh, he's playing the Daddy card.” Dingbat chortled. The other officers laughed. “Well Jacobs, if you really don't know anything, maybe you can help us another way.”
“And?” TJ was starting to get irritated.
“Your friends. The Masters.” Dingbat leered.
TJ might have looked calm, but inside he was piping hot. He was being backed into a corner and he didn't like it.
“Mayor Jones wants them out of City Hall. You're going to give us the evidence to do that.” Dingbat told him.
“And if there is no evidence?” TJ snapped.
“Find some.” Dingbat got up off the table, his eyes laughing in victory. He and the other officers went back to work.
“You're not the only one who's been recommended to dob us in.” Belle assured TJ after work that day.
“Yeah, today at work we had a big staff presentation about doing the right thing and speaking up if you think anything is wrong.” Petunia scoffed.
“You too? We had one at the school today.” Sammy told the group as they walked into Bills restaurant. “Spent the entire day listening to kids dobbing on each other for the stupidest of things.”
“Maybe I should give the same talk to my staff.” Charlie mused as they sat down.
“You? Lecture?” Belle teased. Charlie cuffed her, sending her sprawling to the ground.
“I see you two have as strong a friendship as ever.” Bill walked out of the kitchen just in time to see his niece flying to the ground.
“BFFs.” Belle groaned as she got up.
“So, what are we all having today?” Bill asked, pad ready.
“What's the newest dish?” Daniel asked.
“Thai Basil Fish.” Bill replied.
The group thought for a moment.
“Chips.” Was the consensus.
“You lot…” Bill grumbled as he went back to the kitchen to get their meal.
“So, anyone see the latest from the Brisvegas Leos?” Charlie poured himself and Belle some water, raising a few eyebrows.
“I give it another week before Matthew Boss is gone from the coaching job. Peter Kanga has been sniffing around.” Sammy replied.
“No way, he's off to the Sportsbourne Devils.” Sunny shook her head. “No way would the Leos dump Boss.”
The bell on the restaurant door tingled. No one really noticed who walked in, except Belle, who went exceptionally pale.
“Good evening Mr. Masters.” Mayor Jones said in his slick, deep, oily voice.
Sunny heard that voice and hugged Melody close to her. Jones turned to look at her.
“It would be nice to sit with my daughter and her friends tonight.” He said.
Bill clutched his pad. “Very well. Let me get you a seat.”
Jones smiled pleasantly as Bill got his seat for him. Bill looked apologetically at Sunny, who sighed.
“What do you want?” She asked her father accusingly.
“Now, now. Is that any way to speak to your father?” Mr. Jones looked down his nose at his daughter.
“It is when you're a crap parent.” Sunny muttered.
Jones pretended he hadn't heard. “I just want to reconnect with my daughter, get to know my grand-daughter. Is there anything wrong with that?”
Just as Sunny was about to tell him everything wrong with that, Mobster Marion and Master Revolver walked in.
Belle shared a Look with Charlie. Jones frowned, but continued to talk.
“It would be nice to talk to my employees too. Miss Masters and Mr. Jacobs.” He smiled politely.
“Nothing like work on your personal time.” TJ muttered.
“Nonsense! This is just a friendly dinner together!” Jones beamed at them all, making them all want to vomit and giving Sunny severe violent urges.
“I think it would be nice to sit with the Mayor and his friends, don't you?” Master Revolver asked Marion as Bill arranged their seating.
“Hmm? Of course.” Marion seemed distracted and twitchy. Daniel noticed. Her mental health was definitely on the decline!
Jones flinched slightly as the pair sat down, but maintained his impossible smile. “It's nice to see you both.” He said.
“Nice to see you too.” Revolver said roughly, not meaning it at all. Belle and Charlie gripped each others hands. There was definitely tension between Demon and Master Revolver!
“Even though you should be in gaol.” Jones growled under his breath.
“Shoulda, woulda, coulda. There's nothing you can do about it, unless you want more blood and secrets spilled.” Revolver shot a glare at the Mayor.
“So much for a friendly dinner.” Petunia groaned.
Then, JUST to add more fuel to the fire, Crusader Roger walked in with three of his henchmen…one of them being none other than the former Ruby Warrior Daryl Jones!
“Okay, which one of you walked under a ladder with a black cat while smashing a mirror?!” Sunny glared accusingly at her friends as the new group came and sat down at the table.
“As much as I don't like sharing a table with murderers and snitches, I believe I shall.” Roger sat down next to Belle, who nearly backhanded him furiously.
“You liar! Everyone knows it was you pretending to be my father that got the…government…involved.” She tried not to giggle.
“Oh?” Roger looked down his nose at the young Masters. “And your proof is?”
“We went to Brisvegas and saw the communication for ourselves. It came from the town of Fallsville. You know, where March Hill is?” Charlie narrowed his eyes at Roger.
Revolver, Marion and Jones all turned to stare at Roger. He brushed it off.
“Very clever.” He admitted.
“So we wasted our time going after the Masters brat after all.” Revolver grumbled.
“I'M SITTING RIGHT HERE!” Belle yelled.
“Please Miss Masters, this is a fine dining establishment…although it looks otherwise.” Jones frowned at the décor of the restaurant. Charlie had to restrain Belle from retorting.
“Forget it Gangster, you've lost Pleasantville.” Roger gloated.
“I wouldn't be so sure after the last stunt you pulled that nearly cost me!” Jones fired.
Roger growled. Darn it!
“I'm not entirely happy with anyone at this table.” Jones continued. “You're all either vying for power or keeping secrets.”
“Pleasantville was built on secrets.” Marion said, making everyone jump. “Secrets all over the place. One day all the secrets will come undone.”
“Sooner rather than later I hope.” Charlie said.
“If wishes were trees, the trees would fall down.” Revolver said. Belle eyed him warily.
“The fact is, I have no reason to work with any of you.” Jones continued.
“Except that most of us know too much.” Roger smirked.
“That may be the case, however I think I could deal with that.” Jones said. “If I had the right people behind me.”
Belle winced in pain as Charlie squeezed her hand tightly.
“Whomever can bring me the Lions Claw Blade and the Lucky Seven Gun will help me rule Pleasantville.” Jones declared.
Thankfully everyone at the table looked shocked, so Belle and Charlie didn't look too out of place with their looks of terror.
“Oh hey look, the Haunted Maze Troupe are here.” Sammy pointed to a window, where two Troupers were peering in. Because of course they were.

Chapter Ninety-One: The Tempest Starts

“NO.” Giggles smacked the hand of the Haunted Maze Trouper who was trying to sell a young man some drug of some description in Pleasantville Park.
“But I NEED it!” The man begged.
“What you need is a cold shower and some help. Call this lady, she's brilliant at peer support.” Giggles handed the man Tammys business card. “Imagine the savings you can make!”
“Saving for what?” The man said bitterly.
“Getting out of Pleasantville for one.” Giggles pointed out.
The man blinked, and with a scowl he walked away.
Giggles turned to the Trouper that was now staring blankly at her from behind the purple baby mask.
“You know what you're doing is naughty.” She scolded.
The Trouper moved their head to the side.
“Don't give me that look.” She continued.
Then the Trouper pulled out the knife (we all knew that was coming) and took a swing at Giggles, who dodged easily.
“RUDE!” Giggles frowned. “Hey, Chuckles, stabby things are your side of the family!”
“Right on!” Chuckles jumped down from the tree he was sitting in. “I'm not going to even need the Lions Claw for this!”
“Chuckles, hollow knife with drugs in it, remember?”Giggles groaned.
Chuckles grinned. He flew at the Trouper, using an Arm Scythe to knock the knife from their hand. He then used a well-aimed kick to knock them to the ground.
“Winning!” Chuckles waved to Giggles, who facepalmed.
Then a gunshot rang out, and the Trouper was dead. Chuckles and Giggles froze.
“Revolver?” Chuckles called out tentatively. Silence.
Giggles walked over to Chuckles, both the Lucky Seven Gun and the Desert Eagle drawn. Suddenly the quiet area of the park in the sunset seemed very, VERY spooky.
“It's started, hasn't it?” Chuckles gulped.
“We need to get out of here.” Giggles said.
Then the sirens and lights appeared.
“I can't believe this.” Peter groaned.
“Believe it. Chuckles and Giggles should think themselves lucky they're not in gaol for murder.” Judith Jofrey replied.
They were sitting in Judiths office. It was the day after Chuckles and Giggles escaped arrest for the death of the Haunted Maze Trouper.
“Especially as the whole plan was that they got arrested and out of the way.” Judith continued. “Revolver and Marion want a clear path to take out the Crusaders and the Troup.”
“Can't you talk to your sister and get her to see that turning Pleansantville into a warzone is a bad idea?” Peter asked.
“Her mental state has been going downhill since Dad died. I don't think anyone can reason with her anymore.” Judith sighed. “She won't listen to Revolver, she won't listen to Jones and she won't listen to me. Especially now I'm dating Daniel.”
“Oh?” Peter raised an eyebrow.
“She's worried if I have an heir before her, I'll steal the Misneach assets.” Judith told him. “Which is stupid, because Dan and I haven't been together all that long.”
Peter was about to reply when they heard gunfire outside. They walked to the window.
“Roger NO!” Giggles cried, shoving Master Revolver out of the way of a gunshot.
“Get out of my way brats or I'll kill you too!” Crusader Roger aimed again to take out Master Revolver. “This dog needs to PAY for what he did!”
“We don't necessarily disagree, we just think there MIGHT be better ways about it!” Chuckles fought to keep Mobster Marion from entering the fray.
“GET. OUT. OF. MY. WAY!” Marion roared, bringing her sword down on Chuckles.
“Will you calm your farm already?!” Chuckles blocked her with the Lions Claw Blade.
“Well…this is a bit obvious.” Peter folded his arms and watched everything unfold.
“I want to know where the Haunted Maze Troupe is in all of this.” Judith narrowed her eyes.
“You REALLY think they care about the death of one of their own?” Peter asked.
“I don't think they CARE, I just think they might want to make a statement so they're not seen as weak.” Judith replied. “The illusion of power is important here. That's why Roger set you up. He couldn't be seen as weak after Mark was killed.”
“But this attack doesn't make sense.” Peter looked back down. “He's left himself wide open.”
Suddenly there was an explosion to the east. Judith looked horrified.
“That BASTARD!” She cried.
“Aah. He was distracting Marion and Revolver so he could blow up the Misneach Manor.” Peter said. “It looks like there's going to be consequences for everyone.”
Chuckles and Giggles looked at each other as Marion and Revolver ran to their limo to check the damage to their manor.
The tempest had started.

Chapter Ninety: How Long Must We Sing This Song?

“So, do I really want to know the logic behind kidnapping Belle?” Daniel asked one sunny afternoon as he stood with Judith Jofrey on Pleasant Dam.
“Demon wanted revenge on Peter for alerting the authorities to the presence of the Ruby Suit.” Judith replied. “He put a hit out on Belle.”
“And your sister just happened to be the first to get to her?”
“Not really. It's a long story. Suffice to say your friend annoyed quite a number of people during her ordeal.”
“Knowing Belle I'm not really shocked.”
“She's your friend!”
“Doesn't mean she can't bore me to death.”
Judith did her best to suppress a giggle. “Anyway, you're in luck. Everyone seems to be united in their annoyance with her, for now.”
“And that means?” Daniel raised an eyebrow.
“No mischief for a while.” Judith replied.
“I doubt that.” Daniel frowned. “The Troupe are always looking to sell their drugs and cause trouble. The Crusaders will probably be looking to strike you guys first. Roger will still be pissed about Mark.”
“Do you EVER take a break?” Judith wrapped her arms around his neck. “You don't have to be the big leader all the time.”
“Can't help it.” Daniel hugged her back. “Unfortunately when you're the oldest of a rag-tag group of kids, you become their leader and you'll always be their leader.”
Judith looked up at her boyfriend. She felt like there was something that he wasn't telling her…
“A-And then…Roger just shoves me into the Trouper…and he's all “She's YOUR problem now!” and ran off!” Belle howled with laughter as she told Charlie how she had talked herself to freedom. “And the Trouper just looks at me, which is when I told him all about the beginnings of the Haunted Maze Trouple fifty years ago in Brisvegas…”
“Which I do NOT need to hear about!” Charlie laughed with her.
“I honestly don't get them.” Peter shook his head, looking up at the tree where the friends were chilling out.
“I don't either.” Thomas sighed.
“I'm glad you're safe though. I was worried there for a while.” Charlie said as the laughter died down.
“I was fine. I just figured if it was enough to get you to tune out, it would work on anyone.” Belle grinned. The grin slid off her face as she turned to look at the slowly flowing creek.
“You okay?” Charlie asked.
Belle sighed.
“The government doesn't care. No one cares except us. Why are we even bothering? Nothing's going to change.”
Charlie blinked.
“All the government cared about was getting their suit back. The people here are still so willfully ignorant. Why don't we just give up?” Belle continued.
“Belle, these things take time.” Charlie told her. “The government might not care, but they can be made to care.”
“The government has people campaigning in the opposite direction to us. People with money and power and influence. We can't fight against that.” Belle groaned.
“We CAN!” Charlie cried. “It's been done before!”
“Everything is working against us.” Belle sighed. “And what do we get for our trouble? Attacked. Kidnapped. Ostracized.”
“We're gaining allies Belle! It's hard, it's slow, but we have to do it!” Charlie took her hand. “We have to make a difference. This isn't just a Pleasantville problem, but if we can fix it here then maybe others will take heart and fix their problems too!”
Belle turned to look at the creek again.
“We need to do this together Belle. You, me, the Knights, your Dad…we all need to keep working together.” Charlie begged her. “If Chuckles and Giggles give up, your Dads arguments start ringing hollow.”
Belle sighed again.
“Please Belle?” Charlie looked quite pathetic. “Without you, I'm nothing.”
Belle laughed, scaring Charlie.
“YOU are nothing without me?” She scoffed. “Charlie, if it wasn't for you I'd never get off my butt to do anything! I'd be too busy procrastinating all day!”
“You got your degree by yourself!” Charlie pointed out.
“As a form of procrastination. If I had a choice to stay at University and do nothing but study I'd take it in a heartbeat. Alas, I have a best friend who keeps me on my toes, who motivates me and who keeps me optimistic.” Belle grinned.
Charlie smiled back.
“You're right of course.” Belle looked towards the creek again. “I just get disheartened so easily.”
“It's not going to be a quick process. You've said so yourself.” Charlie put a hand on her shoulder. “I mean, you've told me a million times about how certain interests lobby the government and that most people don't care as long as it doesn't affect them. Well, we're gonna make them care!”
Belle grinned at him.
“Wanna go out and make ourselves visible?” She asked.
“Absolutely.” Charlie replied.
So Chuckles and Giggles headed out into Pleasantville…a wise move in the end!

Chapter Eighty-Nine: The Worst Kidnapping Ever

“We need to stay calm and figure out a plan.” Thomas said.
“Chill out Pete!” Thomas tried to calm his friend down, nearly getting his head taken off for it.
“Peter!” Lara tried to pull her husband back into his seat.
They were sitting in the Begly lounge room, still trying to process what had happened. Charlie was dead silent. His best friend was gone.
“TJ is trying the best he can at work without being found out, but I think we can narrow it down to three main suspects.” Petunia paced up and down behind the couch.
“That doesn't help, no one knows where the Haunted Maze Troupe hide out, and by the time any of us got to Fallsville Beauty could be…be…” Peter began to hyperventilate.
Charlie shook his head and walked outside. There was no way Belle was dead. It was impossible. If she was gone, then so was the Improbability Clause. If the Improbability Clause was gone, then there was no Chuckles.
Charlie sat next to the tree. There was no choice. He HAD to save his best friend!
He jumped up.
Then he remembered that he had no clue on how to do it, and the one person who could have helped him was the one he was trying to save.
He sat back down, feeling defeated.
Then he jumped back up again. There were multiple Masters that he could get to help him! Peter was too distraught, and Madeleine was too young, but there was still Bill!
He bolted inside to get his Chuckles gear.
“What are you doing?” Thomas asked as Charlie sped past.
“I'm gonna get Bill to help me with the Improbability Clause and get Belle back! I just need my Chuckles uniform!” Charlie replied.
“Hold it.” Peter and Thomas said.
Charlie stopped.
“What's going to happen when whomever kidnapped Belle sees that Giggles is also missing?” Peter pointed out.
“You can't go as Chuckles. You have to be careful.” Thomas added.
The pair gave each other some serious side-eye as Charlie slumped.
He bolted up to his room and flopped onto his bed with all the drama that his devastation would allow him.
Next morning, things looked even bleaker.
“She really is gone.” Peter looked at his breakfast, unable to touch it.
Lara uncomfortably served Oscar and Madeleine their breakfasts. She couldn't help but feel like this whole mess was her fault, and that the Masters family would have been better off not knowing her.
Meanwhile, Charlie had awoken with a sense of duty, of purpose, and of well-meaning but misguided determination.
“I WILL find Belle!” He jumped out of bed and got dressed. He bolted out of the house (grabbing some toast on the way) and rushed to Bills Restaurant. If he was going to find Belle, he needed the Improbability Clause. To use the Clause, he needed a Masters.
“Hi Bill!” Charlie burst through the back door of the restaurant.
“Why are YOU so perky?” Bill snapped, pouring himself a coffee.
“We're gonna find Belle!” Charlie announced.
Bill looked at the young man for a long time. “I don't know whether to pat you on the head or shake my head at you.” He sighed and looked up at the young man. “I'll probably shake my head though since you're now taller than me.”
“I need a Masters to use the Improbability Clause.” Charlie told him.
“And why do you need the Improbability Clause?” Bill asked.
“To find my best friend.” Charlie pointed out.
“How about no?” Bill started getting the kitchen organised.
“And why not?” Charlie looked offended.
“Because unlike my brother and my niece, I'm not a complete brainiac know-it-all.” Bill pulled on his apron. He stopped.
Charlie was grinning from ear to ear.
“Oh no.” Bill groaned.
“Thanks Bill!” Charlie bolted from the restaurant.
“Oh lordy…” Bill groaned again.
“Charlie, what are you doing?! Why aren't you helping us search for Belle?” Lady Luck cried into her phone.
“Because she's fine.” Charlie replied, sipping on some iced tea.
“Tell him he's a jerk!” He heard Lady Courage in the background.
“Lady Courage says you're a jerk. How can you be so relaxed?!” Petunia cried.
“I think he's finally snapped!” Thomas said.
“Dad says he thinks I finally snapped.” Charlie repeated.
Suddenly, Mobster Marions limo pulled up. The door was kicked open and out flew Belle!
“Take her!” Marion cried, slamming the door. The limo sped off.
Peter and Thomas looked at each other, shocked.
“Nicely done Belle!” Charlie got up and helped Belle to her feet.
“Explain?” Peter hugged his daughter.
“Belle never shuts up.” Charlie grinned.
Belle broke out of her fathers arms and proceeded to chase Charlie up the tree.
“You guys heard that, right?” Thomas picked up Charlies phone.
“I give up.” Lady Luck hung up.
“I heard a few things while I was kidnapped.” Belle said as the group sat at the tip later on.
“Between lectures you mean.” Charlie grinned.
“Demon is beyond furious. That's why I was taken. He blames Dad for all of this.” Belle ignored him. “He's also kicked Daryl out.”
Sunny started laughing.
“That could be dangerous if Daryl decides to do his own thing.” Daniel frowned at her.
“Daryl doesn't do anything he hasn't been told to do first. He's a follower, and if he can find someone who will let him do what he likes, only then will he be a threat. Until then, he's going to lay low.” Sunny told them. “Daryl Jones is no longer a threat.”
“Everyone is busy regrouping right now. It's a race to see who can get their bearings first.” Belle told them.
“Thankfully we seem to be prepared.” TJ breathed a sigh of relief.
“I hope you're right.” Daniel frowned.

Chapter Eighty-Eight: A Snit

“You got knocked out by a-,”
“Finish that sentence Teej and I will hurt so you so badly the DVM will be jealous.”
“So no dicking around-,”
Daniel would never hear the end of it. His fellow Knights of the Last Order found his plight simply hilarious, especially now that the threat was gone. The Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service had cleared out, the last part of their mission forever failed. The group was at Bills restaurant, waiting for their meals.
“I'm just thankful Peter and Thomas are okay. They could have gotten really screwed up.” Sunny added the last part slyly.
“Will you all stop with the puns?” Daniel grumbled. “You all know how bad Carbon Power is. These two were MONSTERS!”
“Chill out mate, we're all just having fun.” Charlie said, using a rather miffed Belle as a back-rest.
“Fun, huh?” She snapped at him. “Like your Dad did pretending to be DEAD?”
“It was a JOKE, Belle-Belle.” Charlie rolled his eyes at her. “Relax, you've been tense since we got to Brisvegas.”
And with that Belle stormed out of the room and into the back kitchen to sulk.
“Well SOMEONE is moody.” Charlie also began to sulk.
“You're not gonna run off to Awesomica again are you?” Sunny asked slyly.
“He's such a MORON!” Belle grumbled at home later than evening after ranting for two hours, fifteen minutes and twenty seconds about how horrible her best friend and his father were.
“Him or his father?” Peter said with a slight hint of bitterness.
“ALL OF YOU!” Belle flopped to the sofa.
“Belle, I know you're a bit mad still over the whole Ruby Suit issue-,” Lara started.
“Leave it.” Belle snapped.
“You do NOT speak to your Mother that way!” Peter fired.
“SHE'S NOT MY MOTHER!” Belle stormed upstairs. Where on earth had THAT come from? Biologically they might not have been related, but it was accepted fact now that Lara Masters nee Vargus was the Mother of Belle Masters, especially by Belle herself.
Belle sighed, before jumping out of her window, shimmying down the tree and heading off for a much-needed walk. The whole business with the Ruby Suit had certainly thrown her for several loops.
“Where's Belle? I want to talk to her and apologise. I've been a bit rough on her recently.” Charlie poked his head into the Masters kitchen a hour later.
“She WAS in her room. Now she's gone walkabout.” Peter told him. “She's in a snit alright.”
“Between you and Dad and I we've really gone and done it. Why on earth did you steal the Ruby Suit?!” Charlie asked.
“I didn't STEAL the Ruby Suit, I just fixed it up behind their backs.” Peter told him.
“UGH!” Charlie stormed off in search of his best friend.
“Why would she be over here? She's not particularly fond of us at the moment.” Thomas said when Charlie went back home to check for Belle there.
“She's not here, although to be honest if I were her I wouldn't want you near me either.” Sunny looked down her nose at him when he checked at her place for his best friend.
“She's not here.” Daniel's place.
“Hasn't been here all week. Want some cake?” TJ and Petunitas.
“Not since she borrowed my sparkly blue nailpolish.” Tammys.
“Nope.” Sammys.
“Why the HELL would she be here Begly?!” Judith Jofrey chased him out of her apartment.
“She must be really mad at me.” Charlie slumped as he walked back home. He was just turning into the street when he saw his sister Izzy walking the baby Masters, Madeleine.
“What's up Charlie?” Izzy asked him.
“Charlie!” Madeleine waved her hands at her sisters best friend.
“Hi.” Charlie mumbled.
“Aww, c'mon, what's up?” Izzy asked.
“Belle-Belle!” Madeleine answered.
“Ah, you're still upset that you haven't been taking your best friend seriously and now you're angry because she's not around when you want to apologise.” Izzy smirked. Suddenly Madeleine let out a wail and grabbed her eye. “Sorry! She's still doesn't fully understand being Claused yet.” Izzy picked the toddler up out of the pram and began to soothe her.
“You are SMITTEN with that baby!” Charlie had to smile.
“If proper respect is given, then age should be no deterant to friendship!” Izzy poked her tongue out at him. “It's okay Madels, you're a smart girl yes you are!”
“Anyway, HAVE you seen Belle?” Charlie asked as Madeleine started giggling again.
“Nope. Have you tried calling her phone?” Izzy said dismissively.
Charlie blinked.
“Anyway, we gotta go, Sam is picking me up for a movie tonight and I need to be ready.” Izzy grinned. “We're going on a double-date with Tammy and her girlfriend.”
“Sounds good. Just don't scare Tammys date off.” Charlie brushed her off as he dialled Belle from his own phone. He vaguely thought that Izzy was as smitten with Sammy as she was with the baby Madeleine as the phone rang out. “DAMN!” He cried.
Belle must be totally livid if she wasn't answering her phone. Charlie couldn't stand it. He remembered the pain he had felt the day that Belle had woken up after her grandfather Joe died. She hadn't forgiven him then either.
He HAD to make this right. He was going to keep on calling until he got an answer. He called again. And again. And again.
After about the sixth time he finally got an answer. A cold voice simply said “She won't answer.” and hung up.
Charlie felt his blood run cold.
Belle Masters had been kidnapped!

Chapter Eighty-Seven: Chuckles and Giggles vs the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service

“Belle, you're driving like a maniac, calm down!” Charlie tried to stop Belle from getting the both of them killed on the Warry-Go Highway.
“I have to get back! What if they do something to my Dad?!” Belle cried.
Peter put his phone down. “Bloody hell. I have to go into the office, Scavie wants a file sent that can't wait until tomorrow.”
“I'LL GO WITH YOU!” Everyone one of the Noble Knights of the Last Order cried.
“Guys…I don't need a guard. I've been fine up until now, and I will continue to be fine.” Peter picked up his car keys. “Someone's used these to open something.” He wiped something off the key that looked suspiciously off.
“Pete, you STOLE GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, furthermore that property WAS A TOP SECRET WEAPON.” Sunny cried. “They're going to be after you!”
“If anything, it's Lara who's in danger, you should be protecting her!” Peter shot back. “She's the government employee!”
“Look, here's how it's gonna happen.” Daniel held up his hands for calm. “I'm going with Peter. If all of us go, it's too conspicuous. Sunny, you, Petunia and TJ are staying here with Lara. The twins are gonna go patrol.”
“Only two of us on patrol?” Sammy asked.
“I reckon it will be the last calm patrol before the fallout begins.” Peter told them. “Demon is going to be furious at the Masters clan, plus at the Haunted Maze Troupe for causing trouble while the Presidents Entrusted National Intelligence Service was here. The Mobsters are gonna be frothing at the bit to cause trouble again. Once Chuckles and Giggles get back, it's gonna be on for young and old.”
“Oath.” Sammy looked at Tammy, who nodded at him. Both of them headed to the tip to suit up and ship out.
“Don't you think I should come with you to protect Peter? Three of us here is a bit overkill.” TJ pointed out to Daniel.
“We'll be fine, we're just going to get a file.” Peter stood at the front door. “Can we go now?”
Daniel and TJ shared a worried look.
“BELLE THERE IS ALREADY SOMEONE IN THAT LANE! BELLE SLOW DOWN!” Charlie screamed in terror as Belle took the exit towards the Wastelands where Pleasantville sat.
“No time! We're still half an hour away!” Belle said, pedal to the metal as she swerved past a family in a station wagon.
“I can't believe I agreed to this.” Peter grumbled as Thomas drove him and Sir Lionheart to the Council Building.
“Well, you didn't want a full security detail, so we brought the Improbability Clause with us instead.” Sir Lionheart told him.
“Swell.” Peter groaned.
“Cheer up Petey. This'll be quick, there'll be no need for the Clause.” Thomas grinned.
They pulled into the carpark and headed into the building.
“See? Simple.” Thomas said as Peter went through the filing cabinet to get the file he needed to send.
“I know that, and you know that, but the Knights seem to think otherwise.” Peter walked to his desk to get an envelope out. “Security let us in no problem, it's quiet and no one is getting on my nerves.”
That's when watched his best friends face fall.
“Sir Lionheart?” Peter called out. Silence. “LIONHEART?” He tried again. “Darn it Tom, you told me no Clause!”
“We have to go and find him, he could be in – LOOK OUT!” Thomas cried as Richard Dickson threw the Hedgehogs Quill Dagger at Peter from the shadows!
“Don't worry about the Knight, Testy and Ball took care of him quite quickly.” Dickson smirked as the knife landed in the wall next to Peters head.
“Maybe I SHOULD have had a full security detail.” Peter gulped.
The door to the office opened, and Testy and Ball walked through. Ball had Sir Lionheart over his shoulder.
“Perfect, we'll unmask him when we get back to base and get all the details we need from him.” Dickson said before aiming the Speedy Two at Peter. “Once we know who Chuckles and Giggles are, we can sort things out in Pleasantville.”
“You faked being bad with those weapons to get us to lower our guard. You're more competent than we thought.” Thomas growled.
“A simple ruse, but so very, very effective.” Dickson smirked. “Now Mr. Masters, to deal with you.”
“PETE NO!” Thomas rushed to defend his best friend. Dickson fired, narrowly missing both men with the first bullet.
“You make this too easy.” Dickson fired again.
If Giggles hadn't jumped through the window at that moment, knocking over Dickson, the bullet would have struck Peter Masters down where he stood.
Instead, it hit Thomas Begly close to his throat.
“TOMMY!” Peter cried, rushing to his best friend side.
“Gentlemen, deal.” Dickson got ready to finish the job while Testy and Ball took care of Giggles.
“Not so fast!”
Dickson was sent flying by a punch from Chuckles, which cut open Dicksons face with an Arm Scythe.
“Darn it, there's three of them, and according to Daryl, two of them have in-built Carbon Power!” Giggles groaned.
“Well, you have in-built immunity!” Chuckles shoved her towards Testy and Ball, while he went after Dickson. Dickson growled and pulled with his hand. The Hedgehogs Quill, which was attached to a thin string, came back to him and he used to to block another offensive. Unfortunately for him, Chuckles was relentless, leaving him unable to reload the Speedy Two.
Sure enough, when Ball threw his Amethyst Blast at Giggles, she was able to dissipate it easily. With the Lucky Seven Gun, she was able to keep the pair away from the battling Dickson and Chuckles.
“Fall back!” Dickson regrouped with Testy and Ball, who were happy to get away from Giggles and her guns.
“Get out of Pleasantville and don't you EVER come back!” Giggles warned.
Dickson glared at her for what seemed like a long time. Finally, he turned around and walked out of the room.
“You're gonna just walk off?!” Testy asked incredulously.
“Fall back.” Dickson growled.
The two men followed him out of the room, and out of Pleasantville. Both of them shot parting filthy looks at Chuckles and Giggles, who weren't particularly bothered.
Chuckles ran to his father.
“Dad?!” He looked at his fathers lifeless body.
“I…I…couldn't stop the blood…he…was…my…best…friend…” Peter could barely speak.
Chuckles understood. He'd been here before.
He covered his face as Giggles came over and took his arm. She looked at him quizzically.
“Are you…laughing?” She said quietly to him.
Suddenly Thomas lurched forward with a roar, scaring Peter and Giggles.
I did say it was CLOSE to the throat. Probably more near the shoulder. Peter refused to talk to him for three weeks.

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